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Keyes and Barnes named ‘Top Cops’ in Warren County and Vicksburg



Top Cop Barnes with K-9 Nadia, Chris Satcher with Crime Stoppers and Top Cop Dustin Keyes with K-9 Heidi (Photo by David Day)
Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers usually holds a banquet where law enforcement officers around the state are presented with awards and recognition during National Police Week. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s festivities were canceled, but awards are still being given to deserving officers.

In a ceremony on the Warren County Courthouse steps Monday morning, Deputy Dustin Keyes and Officer Matt Barnes brought their K-9 charges to receive their awards for being the Warren County Sheriff’s Office and City of Vicksburg’s “Top Cops” for this year.

Keyes, a Vicksburg native, is a graduate of St. Aloysius and the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy. He has been a deputy under Sheriff Martin Pace in the Warren County Sheriff’s Office for 6 years, and is the handler for K-9 officer Heidi. Keyes is married with three children.

“Deputy Keyes was nominated as the Warren County Sheriff’s Office ‘Top Cop’ for some outstanding police work several months ago” Pace said. “He had learned of a broadcast of two individuals that were wanted for armed robbery in the Brandon area. They has also committed armed robberies in the state of Alabama. Deputy Keyes spotted the vehicle on the interstate and attempted to stop the vehicle. The subjects jumped out on foot, one of them fired at Deputy Keyes with a handgun. They then carjacked a vehicle with two victims in it. This led to a lengthy pursuit that several agencies were involved in throughout the city and county. They were finally taken into custody in the Kings Community. It was determined then they had also committed a homicide in another state.”

“They are currently convicted on multiple felony charges in the Federal Court system,” Pace added. “They have state felony charges pending in several other jurisdictions.”

“No one was injured, the hostages were recovered and the suspects are now in the penitentiary” declared Pace.

Top Cop Deputy Dustin Keyes and K-9 Heidi

The Vicksburg Daily News asked Top Cop Keyes what was going through his mind the night he was being shot at by desperate fugitives:  “Make it home” he said pensively.

Officer Matt Barnes attended Warren Central High School, Hinds Community College and then served in the U.S. Army. He is engaged to Samantha Ranier, who is also a public servant. Barnes has been with the Vicksburg Police Department for four years, and for the past nine months has served as a K-9 patrol officer with Nadia. He is also a graduate of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Training Academy.

“Matt Barnes is a hard worker. Even before he got to K-9 he was out making numerous drug arrests” said Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore. “I told Chief (Bobby) Stewart I wanted Barnes on K-9 because of his hard, hard work. Since he has gotten K-9, his drug arrests have greatly, greatly improved. He’s a benefit to the department, to the city as a whole. Very reliable, very dependable, and I am so proud of him.”

Top Cop Officer Matt Barnes and K-9 Nadia

“Never thought I’d do something like this” said Top Cop Barnes. “It’s an honor to get this award”

District Attorney Rickey Smith, Chief Milton Moore, K-9 Nadia, Top Cop Matt Barnes, Chris Satcher with Crime Stoppers, Top Cop Deputy Dustin Keyes, K-9 Heidi, Sgt. Jessie Tilley, Sheriff Martin Pace.

Chris Satcher, an investigator with the 9th Judicial District, was on hand to present the award on behalf of Crime Stoppers. Along with “Top Cop” trophies, he presented Keyes and Barnes with certificates and gift cards.




Reeves puts another 13 counties under mask mandates



Gov. Tate Reeves during April 22 news conference. (Photo via video screen grab)

Tuesday, Gov. Tate Reeves announced 13 additional counties that have qualified and met certain requirements to be placed under mask mandates with his “Safe Recovery” executive order that is in effect until Dec. 11.

Those additional counties are: Adams, Amite, Coahoma, Franklin, Jefferson, Kemper, Monroe, Noxubee, Oktibbeha, Quitman, Scott, Sunflower and Washington. A total of 54 of Mississippi’s 82 counties are now under mask mandates.

“I hope that people believe me when I say this is a time when the virus is extremely present,” Reeves said during a news conference streamed live on Facebook. “It is all around us right now, more than almost any time before. Please continue to be careful and safeguard yourself and your loved ones.”

A copy of the Executive Order can be found here.

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Handgun stolen in auto burglary



A handgun was stolen in an auto burglary Monday in Vicksburg.

Monday, Nov. 30, at 10:34 a.m. officers took a report in reference to an auto burglary that occurred at 3133 Washington St.

The victim reported someone stole a SCCY 9-mm handgun from his 2000 GMC Sierra.

If you have any information about this incident, please call the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

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Shooting suspect turns herself in



Devona Jackson (photo courtesy VPD)

The suspect in a Nov. 25 shooting turned herself in to Vicksburg police investigators Monday.

Devona Jackson, 36, of Vicksburg, was charged with one count of shooting into an unoccupied vehicle in connection with an altercation at the Smoke Break convenience store, 1217 Cherry St., on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Jackson was arraigned in the Vicksburg Municipal Court, where Judge Angela Carpenter set her bond at $15,000 and bound her over to the Warren County grand jury.

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